Randall Reeves

Interview with Ben Shaw of Out the Gate Sailing

19 Jun

Here’s the set-up.

Two friends from San Francisco, Ben Shaw and his wife, Lauren Keane, just happened to book a cruise on Ice Bear, 59 North Sailing’s newest boat, that put them in Halifax the week of Mo’s arrival.

Ben and Lauren aboard Ice Bear, climbing toward Halifax last week.

I learned of this via a text that read, “Hey, we’re in Lunenburg. Can we buy you a beer?”

I’d not seen Ben since a month before the Figure 8 began, and though we’d chatted for his podcast, Out the Gate, while Mo and I were at ...

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18 Jun

Sure, it’s a nice town, but it became fabulous when my wife arrived on Friday afternoon. Her flight through Philadelphia canceled; the resulting connection grounded her in Dallas. That she came trundling out the gate of Stanfield International at roughly the right time proved a stroke of luck; that she pushed before her two large bags of spares for Moli and a bubble-wrapped Monitor frame was nothing short of miraculous.

Jo and Randall. First meeting after eight months apart.

The previous day, I moved Mo to a private mooring kindly offered by Ben Garvey of Purcell’s Cove.

Mo on a
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Halifax Happenings

11 Jun

Each day starts with a renewed attack on the work list, and each day that attack is blunted by visitors. Rich, John S, Sebastian, the owner of Comet, Bob, James, Rob, Ben, Sandy, Phil…the names go on. These interruptions, “the many snares of popularity,” are not the least unpleasant, and some even mature into dinners at the club.

A mere twelve days ago, I was enjoying the habit of eating my meals cold from a can; now I am served fresh haddock, salmon and lamb accompanied by beer colder than the ocean. One would think such a transition might be ...

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A Chat with John Harries

10 Jun

As referenced in a previous post, John Harries, author of the well-known voyaging website, Attainable Adventure Cruising, came to visit Mo at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron last week.

John has long advocated the use of the Jordan Series Drogue and so was interested to explore the issues Mo had with the drogue during a recent North Atlantic gale.

By way of reminder, the drogue bridle wrapped the Monitor wind vane late in the blow, causing serious damage. More on that here.

What follows is a snippet of our conversation, a short video shot entirely by John. ...

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A Reef of Barnacles

9 Jun

June 7, 2019

The Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron
Halifax, Nova Scotia

I noticed barnacle growth before our first pass at Cape Horn, just one or two, spied going about their business in the eddies off Mo’s transom. And then, over the course of the Southern Ocean circuit, each time I hung myself over the stern to work on Monte, the numbers I could observe grew. Within a few months, were clearly hosting a colony.

A diverse colony of at least three species. The gorilla of the group was entirely purple, carried a long, thick stem at the end of ...

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Figure 8 FAQ from Joanna

8 Jun

Date: June 7, 2019

Hello Everyone!

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from “my lovely wife,” but with Randall and Mo now tucked safely into a Halifax marina, a number of my non-sailor friends have been asking me questions about the voyage. The same questions. I’m the in-house expert on the non-sailorly stuff, so I thought I’d do a quick FAQ for everyone.

So, here we go…

1. Has Randall broken the “rules” for this voyage by stopping?

The short answer is: no, there are no rules. It wouldn’t matter if Randall stopped once or a 100 times (which ...

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Coming Ashore

7 Jun

June 5, 2019

The Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Making an unknown shore by boat, alone, and following a longish interval at sea is a perfectly normal way to arrive at a place; at least this is what repeated experience suggests. So, I am surprised at the greeting that follows arrival here.

The Dock Master, Wayne, meets Mo at the slip to take lines. “You must have friends,” he says as I jump ashore, nearly breaking a leg.

“I hope to have retained a few,” I reply.

“No, I mean, in New York.” He hands me a ...

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Halifax Arrival

2 Jun

May 31 2019/Day: 237

Noon Position: 44 26N  63 28W

Miles since departure: 31,244

Avg. Miles/Day: 132


Halifax has been achieved. Mo and I are docked at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron facilities after 227 days at sea and some 31,000 continuous, non-stop miles.


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Why Halifax?

1 Jun

May 30, 2019/Day 237

Noon Position: 42 50N  63 19W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NNW 5

Wind(t/tws): NNE 10

Miles since departure: 31,224

Avg. Miles/Day: 132


Overnight our west winds slowly veered into the north and more, pushing us due east and way off course. I came on deck at 3am to assess–should we tack around?–and found that the sea appeared to be boiling with fog. Fog came off the watertop in billows, and in the glow of running lights, cast an eery spell over the night. I couldn’t see more than one boat length.

Icebergs to windward, an immediate thought, though ...

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Split Sail, Small Gale

31 May

May 29, 2019/Day 236

Noon Position: 41 14N  63 17W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): N 6 – 7

Wind(t/tws): S 20 – 30

Miles since departure: 31,128

Avg. Miles/Day: 132


Wind still boxing the compass over a 24-hour period. Slow way through the water overnight, but we continued fast on a fast current setting to the N.

I came on deck at 2am to tack and noticed a strange shadow cast by my headlamp onto the #2 genoa. On closer inspection, the shadow resolved into a long tear in the sail from the protective cover at the foot all the way through ...

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